Wegovy (semaglutide) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to aid in weight loss and long-term weight management in certain people. For this use, Wegovy is prescribed in combination with a lower-calorie diet and exercise.
Specifically, Wegovy may be prescribed to:
- adults with either:
- children ages 12 years and older with childhood obesity (a BMI that’s in the 95th percentile or higher for their age and sex*)
Wegovy is a type of drug called a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist. It comes as a solution inside prefilled, single-dose pens and is given as a subcutaneous injection. Wegovy isn’t available in a generic version.
For information about the dosage of Wegovy, including a dosing chart and how to inject the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Wegovy, see this article.
* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of this term refers to sex assigned at birth.
This article describes typical dosages for Wegovy provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When using Wegovy, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Below is detailed information about dosage and administration for Wegovy.
Wegovy comes as a solution inside prefilled, single-dose pens. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection.
Wegovy solution is available in pens containing the following strengths:
- 0.25 milligrams of drug per 0.5 milliliters of solution (0.25 mg/0.5 mL)
- 0.5 mg/0.5 mL
- 1 mg/0.5 mL
- 1.7 mg/0.75 mL
- 2.4 mg/0.75 mL
It’s important to note that there are not multiple doses per pen. Each Wegovy pen delivers only a single dose. You’ll need to use a new pen for each dose of Wegovy.
Wegovy requires a dose escalation. This means your doctor will start you on a specific starting dose. Then, they’ll adjust it over time to reach the drug’s maximum dose.
The dose schedule described below is the typical Wegovy dose escalation. That said, your treatment plan may vary. For example, if you experience side effects at any point during dose escalation, your doctor may delay your next dose increase by several weeks. However, Wegovy isn’t recommended for adults who have intolerable side effects with the 2.4-mg maintenance dose.
The following dosing guide describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to use the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for weight loss and weight management
The dosing chart below shows typical Wegovy doses and the drug’s dose schedule for weight loss and weight management. You’ll inject a Wegovy dose once per week.
|Week of therapy||Wegovy weekly dose|
|weeks 1 through 4 (the first month)||0.25 mg|
|weeks 5 through 8 (the second month)||0.5 mg|
|weeks 9 through 12 (the third month)||1 mg|
|weeks 13 through 16 (the fourth month)||1.7 mg|
|weeks 17 and beyond (maintenance)||2.4 mg|
The recommended dosage schedule for children ages 12 years and older is the same as that for adults. A child’s doctor will prescribe a dosage at the start of treatment. Then, the doctor will adjust the dosage over time to reach a maximum dose.
However, if a child has intolerable side effects from a 2.4-mg maintenance dose, their doctor may lower the dose to 1.7 mg. If a child still has intolerable side effects with the 1.7-mg maintenance dose, they should stop treatment with Wegovy.
Wegovy is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Wegovy is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.
Treatment with Wegovy isn’t recommended for adults who have intolerable side effects from a 2.4-mg dose of the drug.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Wegovy’s dosage.
How will my doctor determine the right Wegovy dose schedule for me?
Typically, doctors will follow the recommended dose schedule for Wegovy. This is described above in the “Wegovy dosage” section. There isn’t an alternative dosing schedule recommended for the drug.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about Wegovy’s dose schedule.
Why is there a starting dose for Wegovy?
A starting dose and dose escalation schedule for Wegovy are recommended to help lower the risk of certain side effects.
Specifically, slowly increasing Wegovy’s dose over time can help lower your risk of gastrointestinal side effects such as:
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
- upset stomach
- excessive belching or gas
What to do if you miss a dose of Wegovy depends on when your next scheduled dose is due.
For instance, if you miss a Wegovy dose and your next scheduled dose is due to be injected in:
- more than 48 hours, take the missed dose as soon as possible.
- less than 48 hours, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the usual time. Do not inject more than one dose of Wegovy at a time.
If it has been 2 or more weeks since your last dose of Wegovy, call your doctor. They may have you:
- resume Wegovy treatment at the usual dose on the next scheduled day, or
- restart Wegovy treatment with the recommended dose escalation schedule. (For details, see the “Wegovy dosage” section above.) Your doctor may recommend this option if you’ve had gastrointestinal side effects due to Wegovy.
Wegovy comes as a solution inside prefilled, single-dose pens. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection. You’ll inject a Wegovy dose once per week.
Your doctor or another healthcare professional will show you how to give injections of the drug to yourself. To view complete step-by-step dosing instructions for using Wegovy pens, view this guide from the drug’s manufacturer.
Wegovy doses may be injected into any of the following areas of your body:
- abdomen, at least 2 inches away from your belly button
- upper arm
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you inject more Wegovy than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. It’s important that you don’t use more Wegovy than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Wegovy can include:
- severe nausea
- severe vomiting
- severe low blood sugar, which may cause:
If you use more than the recommended amount of Wegovy
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve used too much Wegovy. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Wegovy for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Wegovy without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Wegovy that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Wegovy. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Wegovy. For information about other aspects of Wegovy, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Wegovy, see this article. You can also look at the Wegovy prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Wegovy compares with Ozempic, read this article.
- Drug costs. For an overview of Wegovy’s cost, refer to this article.
- Details about weight management. For details on weight loss and management, which Wegovy is prescribed for, see our obesity, exercise and fitness, and nutrition hubs.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.